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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Bensinger’

How Boston Marathon Bombings Triggered ‘One of the Most Alarming Social Media Events of Our Time’

LA Times business reporter Ken Bensinger and tech beat colleague Andrea Chang take a look this morning at the amateur detective work conducted on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan, Facebook and beyond this week in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings. Their conclusions are not pretty:

This watershed moment for social media quickly spiraled out of control. Legions of Web sleuths cast suspicion on at least four innocent people, spread innumerable bad tips and heightened the sense of panic and paranoia.

“This is one of the most alarming social media events of our time,” said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia. “We’re really good at uploading images and unleashing amateurs, but we’re not good with the social norms that would protect the innocent.”

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Los Angeles Times Business Reporter Wins Loeb Award

The Los Angeles Times received the Gerald Loeb award on Tuesday night for “Wheel of Fortune,” Ken Bensinger’s series on Buy Here Pay Here car dealers.

Bensinger’s series beat out two Wall Street Journal entries and one from the New York Times. It was his second Loeb award, which was established in 1957 by the late founding partner of E.F. Hutton & Co.

“Most Americans need cars to get a job and keep it, and for those who don’t have a lot of money or decent credit, it’s a daunting challenge,” LAT editor Davan Maharaj said in a statement. “Ken Bensinger showed how many of these people bought cars from dealers who took advantage of their desperation. But for Ken, their stories would not have been told.”

2012 Gerald Loeb Award Winners Announced

Below are the 2012 Gerald Loeb Award winners, via Talking Biz News. The Loeb’s are given for excellence in business journalism. Congrats to all.

Large Newspapers

Medium & Small Newspapers

Magazines

Commentary

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2012 Gerald Loeb Award Finalists Announced

The 2012 Gerald Loeb Award finalists have been announced. The awards celebrate excellence in business and financial journalism. Along with the news, Jerry Seib, Deputy Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and Winnie O’Kelley, Deputy Business Editor at The New York Times, received the Lawrence Minard Editor Award.

Here are the finalists for the Large Newspaper and Magazine categories. For the rest, click here.

Large Newspapers:

Magazines:

LA Times Sweeps the Times’ Editorial Awards

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Safe to say the LA Times won all their own awards. Cough. This year’s Pulitzers. Cough. Congratulations all!

Joel Rubin
won for beat reporting. Harriet Ryan, Andrew Blankstein, Geoff Boucher, Chris Lee and Ann Powers won for breaking news, the Michael Jackson story specifically.

And the Publisher’s Prize went to Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian for sticking with a Toyota crash story that ended up causing one of the largest auto recalls in history. There’s the real breaking story. Get it? Huh? Breaking.

Complete list and a podcast with Russ Stanton is here.

LA Gets Snubbed by the Pulitzers

pulitzer.pngWe usually crack jokes about how we know someone who once went to school briefly with someone who used to work for someone who won a Pulitzer in whatever year. This year, it’s not funny. This year LAT’s Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger were finalists for breaking the Toyota story so early that Toyota released the hounds on their reputations as Camrys were still killing people.

It resulted in one of the largest recalls in automotive history and saved an untold number of lives.

Yeah, the Enquirer didn’t win a prize for figuring out John Edwards couldn’t control himself – but the major metro newspaper reporters who figured out Priuses couldn’t either?! Nothing?! Really?!

List of the winners is here.

Previously on FBLA: LAT’s Gum Shoe Journalism and the Toyota Recall

LAT’s Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian Are Finalists for Michael Kelly Award for Toyota Scoop

LAT’s Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian were browbeaten by Toyota’s PR machine (also equipped with faulty breaks) while investigating the large number of accidents in certain models. Eventually the story became unstoppable and it was followed by a huge recall. But the life-saving fixes started with the investigative chops of Bensinger and Vartabedian.

Anyway, they are nominated for the the Michael Kelly award. We predict its the first of many. Congrats!

Release in full:

ATLANTIC MEDIA ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR

2010 MICHAEL KELLY AWARD

Los Angeles Times, ProPublica and New York Times Writers Lauded for Pursuit of Truth in Journalism

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LAT’s Gum Shoe Journalism and the Toyota Recall

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This is a credit where credit is due story. Basically, Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger wrote a piece for the LAT in November last year titled “Runaway Toyota cases ignored.” They reported that there have been 19 deaths and scores of injuries due to Toyotas seeming to accelerate on their own. After it was published Irv Miller VP of Environmental & Public Affairs for Toyota wrote:

Today the Los Angeles Times published an article that wrongly and unfairly attacks Toyota’s integrity and reputation.

While outraged by the Times’ attack, we were not totally surprised. The tone of the article was foreshadowed by the phrasing of a lengthy list of detailed questions that the Times emailed to us recently. The questions were couched in accusatory terms.

Despite the tone, we answered each of the many questions and sent them to the Times. Needless to say, we were disappointed by the article that appeared today, and in particular by the fact that so little of our response to the questions appeared in the article and much of what was used was distorted.

Toyota has a well-earned reputation for integrity and we will vigorously defend it.

Cringe.

As CJR’s Dean Starkman points out the LAT stuck to their guns under fire. Then as NYTPicker points out, NYT suddenly started paying attention to the scoop, never noting the champion of the story was from the other coast and some other newspaper.

The media gets criticized for when they get it wrong, but rarely when they get it right. There’s no hyperbole in saying this investigative (read: expensive) piece saved lives. Great work Vartabedian and Bensinger.

Also, just because the NYT pretends they’re an island with no counterparts, doesn’t mean its true.

Our thanks to our tipster for this story.